New Look 6936 Pineapples maxi dress

Oh, that lovely pineapple jersey from Girl Charlee fabrics – a classic.

I first used this knit for a Cali Faye Gardenia dress in 2017, it’s just a lovely fabric. Specs: 10 oz medium weight, 35%/55% stretch, cotton/spandex. I think 10 oz knits are perfect for dresses.

For this new maxi, I used an old friend in my pattern stash, New Look 6936. Okay, those old pics are daunting on the hair front! But they were taken 9 years ago, back when I still dyed my locks.

My current version uses the sleeves from view C, with added length and a few other things, in the sewing notes below. IMHO, these are perfect flutter sleeves. I have broad shoulders and most add-on flutter sleeves look like an appendage on me!

Sewing notes:

  • I sew the size 14 in this dress. Remember, it’s the pattern measurements that matter. In RTW, I’m size 8 or 10, same for most indie patterns. But the Big Four continue to stick with their outdated sizing denominations.
  • To the point, the skirt is a column, in this case 44″ around, top to bottom. With 39″ hips, it’s perfect for me. And is sufficient width for me to walk without a slit (which would be easy to add if you like the idea).
  • I added a waistband casing between the skirt and the bodice. Actually, the bodice is quite short, and I am way past wanting a high empire look (the sassy ikat knit dress above is the original pattern). The casing is finished at 1 1/2″ wide and has soft elastic inside. The inside layer is white cotton broadcloth, because I find that using a woven provides support for the waist and skirt.
  • The bodice crossover is deep, so there are no issues with exposed girls or having to wear a cami!
  • The original pattern instructions are to do a folded and stitched hem on the entire neckline.Yuck. I drafted facings, which provide a little weight to all those bias edges and look very nice. I didn’t interface the facings, given the weight of the fabric. Had it been lighter, I would have used Pellon EK130 tricot knit fusible.
  • BTW, I think the original pattern is perfect for an advanced beginner. Adding a waistband is not difficult, just a matter of choice and confidence 🙂

More pics!

A note: I originally posted this dress with a full maxi length. And I thought it was dreary! I shortened the dress by about 5 1/2″ 🙂

It just feels good to have a successful project in a favorite vibe. As a parting shot, may I say that I despise WordPress’ block editor!! Makes me crazy…

Ciao! Coco

Serendipity Studio Diane Kimono dress – Grunge Fish

Sometimes a print makes a sewing project so much fun. Check out this cotton twill from Cali Fabrics – I love it!

Going through my pattern stash, I realized I haven’t made a Diane Kimono dress in 4 years (Year of the Dragon print). Designed by Texan Kay Whitt and released in 2011, it’s a delightful silhouette and a wonderful palette for mixing prints.

I checked Kay’s Serendipity Studio site, but did not find the Diane listed. I did find the paper/envelope pattern (which is what I have) at WeSewRetro. The dress is so lovely, and the pattern costs less than you might think – you might want to snatch a copy before it disappears. BTW – Kay’s choice of quilting cottons for her garments is inspirational. It’s worth a visit to her site just to enjoy her creativity.

Here’s a collage of versions I made in 2012. I think I will revisit using multiple fabrics on my next version.

Sewing notes:

  • Size Small. I’m 5′ 7 1/2″ tall, 34/29.5/39 BWH.
  • Fabric yardage for my Diane Kimono dresses: 4 yards at 44″ wide, 3 yards at 55″ wide.
  • To take the dress to a maxi length, I added 13″ to skirt pattern pieces. For a midi length, I would need about 10″.
  • Added 1.5″ to the bodice length, front and back – 1/2″ at the bustline, 1″ at the bottom edge.  
  • Added 1″ to the neckline, fronts and back, to raise the crossover, and redrafted the facings to fit. The original was way too low without a cami. Below, on the left, with the original neckline – on the right, with the altered neckline.
  • Strangely, the pattern didn’t come with pockets. On earlier versions, I added side seam pockets and stitched them to the front skirt to prevent their waving around inside the dress. Ha! fixed that with this version, on which I added a pocket that sews into the waistline. On the left, old pocket – on the right, new pocket.

I borrowed a pocket from another pattern. In case you don’t have anything similar, here it is on a 1″ x 1″ grid, so you can draft one!

I love my grungy fish dress! Back soon with pineapples…

Bye for now – Coco

That old ace in the hole…

Oh, I feel so grateful to be writing this post. I’ve been challenged for the last 2 months, on many levels.

To share. In mid-May I started having very difficult intestinal issues. Mid-June, I was diagnosed with a bleeding stomach ulcer and Barrett esophagus! And I had all the attendant symptoms and discomfort. I had no idea – I’ve never had heartburn, but there you go. Silent reflux. Just to make the party complete, I developed acute cystitis, something I haven’t had for 30 years. So my kidneys became a concern.

At the same time, I became very weak, faint, and struggling with nausea. More doctor visits – my blood pressure was hovering in the 80’s/50’s – not enough blood to my very important brain and body!

Short story – medications are adjusted, a second followup endoscopy is scheduled, and I’m beginning to feel so.much.better!

Meanwhile, what did I do. Well, I watched a lot of Netflix, and I did not sew very much, but I will share what I did accomplish. Wait – some of that was a failure! Caveat – not really a failure, more an adventure, because I did try out some new patterns and fabrics.

  • Republique du Chiffon Yeta Jacket. I love this look.

I knew I needed to do a muslin, as I’ve been wary of bomber styles in the past. The fabric is Out West from Marshall Dry Goods (check them out, great cottons), and the lining is Symphony broadcloth from JoAnn. The destiny of this jacket is unknown presently, but it’s hanging around, not quite finished.

  • Republique du Chiffon Gerard Manteau. I simply chose the wrong fabric. I was after a loose boyfriend jacket, but my fabric is stretch cotton sateen from Mood Fabrics. Lovely fabric, but not suited for this jacket. I pressed it for this photo – I will not iron my clothes! so a replacement is a future project. BTW, you can search for this pattern on my blog and find past versions that I love.
  • Named Kielo Dress. I knew better, after looking at a million versions online. The silhouette at the fold of the fabric, inconveniently at the hip, is really pretty bad. I expended 3 yards of jersey fabric on this, and just chalk it up as a lesson.I didn’t even take a photo of my dress, I was that disgusted with my choice.

That’s not much from the Loft for two months. But today, feeling so well, I started a TNT dress, something to soothe the soul. This is the Serendipity Diane Kimono Dress. I wish I still had my original, I wore it out And now I cannot find the Riley Blake Year of the Dragon fabric anywhere. But I did find a similar fabric, Grunge Sea Creatures cotton twill, at Cali Fabrics.

The end! Long post, but I will share. Being unwell, wishing someone would make me chicken soup, tuck me into bed, and deliver a pill for sleep, is real. I am very grateful for the care and support I receive. And to the latter, my blog friends are very important to me – you raise my spirits and provide a significant community of companionship. I hope this finds all of you well and loved.

Bye for now, Coco

My version of planning!

Hmmm. I really don’t plan beyond 1 or 2 projects, and I seldom have more than 2 or 3 pieces of fabric in my stash. I tend to sew multiples of a pattern before moving on to new territory, a habit that sometimes leaves me feeling burnt out. When this happens, I invariably start browsing patterns, and I even cruise my own blog for inspiration. It’s amazing how many patterns I’ve made and liked and haven’t repeated in a while.

First up – The Grainline Lark Tee. I decided to try the scoop neckline version. I’ve had the Lark since its release, but I’ve only sewn the crew neck! For this muslin, having a 2-yard rayon jersey remnant, I drafted a dress version as well (just longer and a bit A-line).

Great neckline and the band fits perfectly!

I didn’t really model this, as it was meant to be a nightie. But I did add a belt, and, surprise, rather cute!

Second – I ordered four Big 4 patterns, something I seldom do these days, choosing Indie patterns most of the time. But these will be great!

Found on Etsy
From Something Delightful
From Something Delightful

I’ve sewn all three of the above in the past, but I need a fresh pattern – I’m smaller than I was way back then. Last, a new pattern that I’ve had on my wishlist for ages and just found on Etsy this week! Views A, B, and C have faux wrap skirts, yay!

I have plenty of black jersey to do a muslin, but also ordered fabric for the dress – Girl Charlee’s classic pineapple print knit, used several years ago in a Cali Faye Gardenia dress:

I’ve been watching the blue jays attack a large hawk that’s been terrorizing the neighborhood bird population. It’s high season for mating and nesting in our dense tree canopy here. Unfortunately, he doesn’t even flinch, but I hope Mr. Hawk returns to his usual turf soon.

Bye for now, Coco

Drafting away and really disliking lilac!

I’ve been working on a summer blouse with some interest, and the only fabric I have in my stash that’s disposable is this lilac Kona cotton. I bought it to make seat cushions, but when it arrived I simply could not imagine them in this color. So I’ve used it to muslin some ideas.

HERE’S what I want, the lovely Trio blouse from The Sewing Workshop.

But 3 computer changes later I’ve lost the pattern. I sent a message to TSW asking if I can get a copy, as it’s no longer on their website. Fingers crossed. Meanwhile, I fooled around with the back and front of the Grainline Alder pattern, using the v-neck variation. ummmm – boring!! It really needs that collar (which is in the original Alder, totally usable if I have to keep drafting without the Trio. Combine it with a boxy blouse and some inventive drafting…

Well, I do have other projects, but when I get fixated, I’m fixated 🙂

I never want to see this color again, the balance of the fabric is binned!!

Ciao, Coco

Patricia Rose in Dissonant Disposition

I just love the name of this fabric from Mood – a little dissonance is good for the soul.

Style Arc’s Patricia Rose has become my favorite dress for woven fabric variations this year. A look at the line drawing:

Drafting notes, my basics for this pattern:

  • I drafted the back to be two pieces, matching it to the front bodice.
  • I’ve never used the front pleat. Instead I drafted a gathered skirt for both the front and the back.
  • I love the bust dart from the armscye. It’s amazing for a small-busted person. The base of the bodice is wide enough to work for a full bust, but I brought it in a bit for my own frame.
  • I’ve sewn all of my Patricia Rose dresses without sleeves. During my first fitting, I trimmed the armscye to be higher on my shoulder and deeper at the base. And I drafted armhole facings.

So – this dress. I decided to do a midi length, mostly because I have lots and lots of maxi’s.

I kept the fold at the bodice, and as seen in other versions I’ve done, I continued the fold across the back of the bodice.

More pics (I finally got off my lazy bum and took photos, the dress was finished a couple weeks ago)!

This dress is lovely to wear. Since I often need a cardi for my cold old bones, I made a Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan, short version, in mustard Fabric Merchants cotton stretch jersey from Fabric.com. It is 100% cotton, love love, and has 15% mechanical stretch. BTW, I’ve moved to size XL in my Blackwoods – it is a narrow silhouette, and I like the additional fullness.

Parting shot: I was up super early, sleepy pics on the porch:

Next up, a boyfriend jacket in khaki cotton sateen. So lush, I’m in love with this fabric collection:

Ciao! Coco